Social Work, Ph.D.
The PhD Program in the College of Social Work develops scholars who generate and disseminate new knowledge to drive social change and create a more equitable, just, and inclusive society. Our graduates are:
- Emerging experts in a self-determined specialized substantive area, making unique contributions to knowledge advancement in the pursuit of social change.
- Skilled in diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, with deep expertise for pursuing the scientific exploration of their specialized substantive area.
- Equipped with the knowledge, skills, and experience to teach the next generation of social work practitioners and scholars
- Productive scholars, with records of scholarly publications, national presentations, and applications for independent research funding.
The degree requires 52 hours of post-masters course work, including 12 hours of dissertation preparation. Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in all required courses. In addition to meeting university and program requirements, all doctoral students’ programs of study are subject to approval by the student’s advisory committee and the College’s PhD Program Coordinator. The following are also required: an oral examination, a comprehensive examination, and a defense of the dissertation.
- Students will demonstrate capacity to use empirical and theoretical knowledge across disciplines to analyze human behavior that is relevant to social work and social welfare.
- Students will apply appropriately a range of methods in the design and implementation of community-engaged social and behavioral research.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to define appropriate research questions that are theoretically based.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in curriculum development, course planning, classroom management and principles of professional education.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in pedagogy.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in communicating and disseminating knowledge distinct from university teaching.
Course of Study
The PhD program in social work is designed so that students can complete course requirements in two to three years. Students must enroll full-time during the first calendar year in residence.
The foreign language requirement (or its statistics or computer equivalent) may be met at any time during the student’s course of study, but not less than 60 days prior to the date at which the student expects to receive the degree. Academic regulations are consistent with those that apply to other doctoral programs within The Graduate School.
Following successful completion of required course work, the student will take a qualifying examination in order to be admitted to candidacy. Examinations typically will take place after the second year of course work. While not course specific, the examination will require the student to demonstrate competence in the integration and application of content drawn from courses.
Within seven years following successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the student must present a dissertation based on research that has been approved by a committee of professors in the major field and by the dean of The Graduate School. The dissertation must be successfully defended before an examining committee appointed by the dean of the college and approved by the dean of The Graduate School. The examining committee will consist of at least four members, one of whom must be from a department or college other than Social Work.
Admissions requirements are consistent with those of The Graduate School and include:
- a completed application;
- transcripts from all post-secondary schools previously attended, including non-degree courses taken;
- a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE accredited graduate program (a master’s degree in a related field may be considered on a case-by-case basis);
- a grade point average of 3.5 or above for graduate-level work;
- evidence of scholarly potential as indicated by three letters of reference;
- a detailed personal statement;
- submission of GRE general scores or Miller Analogies Test scores;
- a sample of the applicant’s scholarly writing;
- satisfactory score on TOEFL or IELTS for international applicants for whom English is not their primary language.
Degree Requirements (52 Post-Masters Hours)
Intellectual Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work Core (9 Hours)
|SOWK 800||Intellectual Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work I: Historical Roots||3|
|SOWK 801||Intellectual Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work II: Modern Developments||3|
|SOWK 802||Intellectual Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work III: Conceptual Model-Building||3|
|Total Credit Hours||9|
Research Methods Core (12 Hours)
|SOWK 892||Design and Critical Analysis of Social Work Research||3|
|SOWK 890||Analysis of Social Work Data||3|
|SOWK 891||Advanced Analysis of Social Work Data||3|
|SOWK 811||Qualitative Methods of Inquiry for Social Work Research||3|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
Professional Seminar (2 Hours)
|SOWK 850||Social Work Doctoral Professional Seminar||1-2|
|Total Credit Hours||1-2|
Planning and Design of Dissertation Research (2 Hours)
|SOWK 894||Planning and Design of Dissertation Research (repeatable)||1|
|Total Credit Hours||1|
Other Course Requirements (27 Hours)
|Substantive electives outside of the college||6|
|Advanced research methods electives||6|
|SOWK 872||Social Work Education Practicum||0|
|SOWK 889||Doctoral Social Work Practicum||0|
|SOWK 899||Dissertation Preparation||12|
|Total Credit Hours||27|
Total (52 Hours)